The winners of the major construction contracts for Britain’s new railway include UK firms Carillion, Costain and Balfour Beatty.
The contracts, worth £6.6bn, will support 16,000 jobs across the country.
The huge infrastructure investment covers the main civil engineering work on the first phase of HS2 between London and Birmingham – including construction of tunnels, bridges, embankments and viaducts.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling announced the decision to award contracts today, which will mean the new high speed link reaching Birmingham by 2026.
Grayling said: "This is a hugely important step in the construction of Britain’s new railway and underlines this government’s determination to deliver an economy that works for all.
"HS2 will deliver vital links between some of our country’s biggest cities, helping to drive economic growth and productivity in the north and midlands.
"As well as providing desperately needed new seats and better connecting our major cities, HS2 will help rebalance our economy.
"We will now get on with building the railway, while continuing to ensure affected communities get appropriate support and are treated with fairness, compassion and respect."
David Higgins, chairman of HS2 Ltd, said: This is a huge day for the HS2 project and for the country. These contracts will support 16,000 jobs here in Britain and will create opportunities for thousands of SMEs.
HS2 was always designed to be much more than just a high speed railway and today we can see the opportunities it brings right around the country - spreading prosperity, acting as a catalyst for investment and rebalancing our economy 10 years before the railway even opens. Business now has the surety to invest with confidence to build a legacy for Britain.
HS2 could carry more than 300,000 people a day. And with fast trains using the new line, there will be extra space for more trains on the existing rail network.
Benefits will be felt across the network with trains running as far as Scotland and the number of seats available out of Euston in peak hours more than doubled.
In total, construction of the full HS2 route to the north-west and Yorkshire will create up to 25,000 jobs and 2,000 apprenticeships. Another 3,000 people will operate HS2 and it is estimated that growth around new HS2stations will create another 100,000 jobs.In February, Parliament granted powers to construct the Phase One route from London Euston to Birmingham, with the route opening in 2026.
The winning bidders to build the first phase of the route are:
Euston Tunnels and Approaches – SCS JV (Skanska Construction UK Ltd, Costain Ltd, STRABAG AG)
Northolt Tunnels – SCS JV (Skanska Construction UK Ltd, Costain Ltd, STRABAG AG)
Chiltern Tunnels and Colne Valley Viaduct – Align JV (Bouygues Travaux Publics, VolkerFitzpatrick, Sir Robert McAlpine)
North Portal Chiltern Tunnels to Brackley – CEK JV (Carillion Construction Ltd, Eiffage Genie Civil SA, Kier Infrastructure and Overseas Ltd)
Brackley to South Portal of Long Itchington Wood Green Tunnel – CEK JV(Carillion Construction Ltd, Eiffage Genie Civil SA, Kier Infrastructure and Overseas Ltd)
Long Itchington Wood Green Tunnel to Delta Junction and Birmingham Spur – BBV JV (Balfour Beatty Group Ltd, VINCI Construction Grands Projets, VINCI Construction UK Ltd, VINCI Construction Terrassement)
Delta Junction to WCML Tie-In – BBV JV (Balfour Beatty Group Ltd, VINCI Construction Grands Projets, VINCI Construction UK Ltd, VINCI Construction Terrassement)
Preparatory works are already underway, with main construction work starting in 2018/19 following a period of detailed design work.